Mayor Chris Beutler today encouraged residents to attend an open house and to participate in an online town hall to share their comments on the Solid Waste Management Plan for Lincoln and Lancaster County. Solid Waste Plan 2040 will provide a guide for policy decisions regarding solid waste management systems, facilities and programs for the next 30 years.
The open house is from 6 to 8 p.m. Tuesday, August 13 at the Lincoln-Lancaster County Health Department (LLCHD), 3140 "N" Street. The online town hall is available August 6 through 20 at the project website, lincoln.ne.gov (keyword: solid waste).
"The plan will address waste reduction, household hazardous waste management, recycling and composting - issues residents deal with every day," Beutler said. "Our goal is to create a comprehensive, integrated system to provide secure long-term disposal and reduce the amount of material going to the landfill."
Solid Waste Plan 2040 is being guided by LLCHD, the Public Works and Utilities Department and a 20-member Advisory Committee. The committee has identified "preferred paths" that include increased resource conservation, waste reduction and recycling. This information is included in a System Definition document that will serve as the basis for developing recommendations.
The average solid waste generation rate in the City and County averages more than seven pounds per person per day. It's estimated that residents currently recycle about 18 percent of our residential solid waste, compared to a national average of almost 35 percent.
"These broad 'preferred paths' are pointing us to a future of significantly greater recycling efforts all across the community," Beutler said. "The Advisory Committee is recommending that Lincoln join so many of our peer cities and require that curbside recycling be provided to every household, giving every resident the easiest way to recycle. There are many economic opportunities and jobs that could be created with increased recycling and waste diversion. And as ratepayers and taxpayers, we will save money delaying the need for new landfill space."
Residents would be encouraged but not required to use the curbside recycling service if it were offered to all households.
In addition to the open house and online town hall, the public can comment through August 20th in the following ways:
The development of a solid waste management plan was identified as a key strategy in the Lincoln-Lancaster County 2040 Comprehensive Plan (LPlan 2040), adopted in October 2011. After the open house and online town hall, the Advisory Committee will develop recommendations and prepare the final plan which is expected to be presented to the Mayor by November. The plan will be submitted to the City-County Planning Commission, the County Board and the City Council for adoption as a subarea plan in LPlan 2040.